Sunday, June 16, 2019

Editorial: Temper the anger, break up with our phone

IF THERE is so much anger these days, don't join the angry few who are blaming it on the President. Look down and check how many hours you are connected to your mobile phone. It might have already addicted you and worse, addicted you to anger.

Studies are starting to come out about addiction to mobile phones and how it has enslaved us to waste most of our waking time just tinkering with it and checking on what the people we are following have shared again, whether pro-administration or anti-administration, all reeking with hatred and anger. Are we getting any better? Sadly not.

What we have become is a nation looking out for villains. Just look what's going around social media these days, and has hooked even those who were not even born yet during that time: the kidnap-rape-murder of the Chiong sisters in Cebu 21 long years ago.

With social media and the feeding of the stories defending the convicted, now the bashing is on the Chiong family. Wait. Have you ever had two sisters or two daughters kidnapped, raped, and killed? It's a fate you will never wish upon your family. It's a mother's grief that will never be healed even by time.

But no. We have the social media in our hands, we speak out what we think is right and we come up with all the conspiracy theories, unmindful that one day 21 years ago, one cadaver of young women were found, another one still missing while a mother broke her heart in grief.

The addiction to anger sneaked up on us slowly through the decades as radio anchormen rated only when they bang the table and shout invectives. But social media took us by storm as it allowed us to raise our voices as well and share these to all in response to the one who is stoking that anger.

What do we have now?

A nation divided, pros and cons. Never one nation, no more compassion. Even patriotism has been skewed as the act of standing up and raging against the administration and all those working for it, instead of buckling down and working for the people. The enemy is anyone who disagrees with us. Is this President Rodrigo R. Duterte's fault? Not really. Look down, check on your phone. Better yet, install the Moment app, which tracks how long you are hooked to your phone, and realize. It's the gadget in your hand and the anger that is being fanned using that gadget, fanning not just an addiction to a gadget but an addiction to anger. Except that, the solutions are neither in the anger we express nor how ugly a demon we are able to paint those who do not share our views -- the tards, remember them?

The solution will always be in our own willingness and ability to help our people grow, not through shouting but through acts and words that uplift.

First step? Stop feeding the anger.


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